In a trip to Solon, Jan. 7, the Beckman wrestling team built a big lead in the early matches and went on to win 45-33 in a WaMaC showdown.

Danil Wall started the night at 120 with a pin of Lawson Sinnwell (1:00), followed by Nick Schmidt doing the same to Milo Ashbacker at 126 (1:51). Alex Hageman got the quickest pin of the night over Brennan Heesch at 132 (:27) before Riley White fell to Kaden Lamm at 138 (1:40).

Nick Hageman (145) and Mason Recker (152) put the Blazers ahead 30-6 with pins of David Karam (1:13) and Caleb Ebert (3:16) before Hayden Taylor surprised Connor Grover with a tech fall at 160 (19-4, 3:02) and Ryan Funke fell at 170 to Lucas Kampman (1:04).

Nick Wulfekuhle battled to a 3-1 decision at 182 over Lucas TePoel and Owen Huehnergarth dropped another quick pin, on Tyler Hancox at 195 (:47). Jason Koopman went down via major decision to Gage Marty at 285 (11-0) and Mason Koelker pinned Kyler Jessup at 113 (2:34) to balance forfeits at 220 and 106.

Assistant coach Tyler Bitting (in place of head coach Steve Leuck, off this week for the birth of his twins) said, “The guys all wrestled super well. The difference in the meet was the bonus points the lighter weights earned. That gave the bigger guys a little leeway. That and our superior conditioning ended up outweighing the Spartans in the end.”

The Blazers were at the Farr Jebens Invitational at Maquoketa Valley, Jan. 9 and placed fourth. Central DeWitt was first with 185.5, followed by Notre Dame of Burlington 157, MFL Mar Mac 156.5, BHS 144, Camanche 121, East Buchanan 113, Midland 110, Western Dubuque 109, Anamosa 105, Center Point-Urbana 102, Starmont 90 and Maquoketa Valley 64.

Huehnergarth earned the Blazers’ lone title, winning all three matches by fall, over CPU’s Henry Hingst (1:28), MV’s Timmy Harmon (2:50) and DeWitt’s Mitchell Howard (2:58).

Schmidt and Nick Hageman placed second for the Blazers. Schmidt went 2-1, losing the first place match to Midland’s Damon Huston (19-1) via fall (1:18). Hageman went 3-1, dropping the final match to Camanche’s Eric Kincaid (24-2) via fall (2:42).

Recker placed third, Grover fourth. Wall, Funke and Wulfekuhle were fifth. Alex Hageman and Ryan Schlarmann took seventh at 132 and 145. White was eighth.

“We wrestled even better today, though we had to give up two more weights (113 and 285). There is room for improvement in that some of the guys need to learn to not settle in the back of their brackets. Most of them kept up the pressure and won their final match of the day. We had three in the finals and that gave them some much needed confidence. Owen’s title was a great confidence booster having not been in that position before,” concluded Bitting.